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 Post subject: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 14:47 
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I thought it might be a good idea to get a thread going where we can all share how badly our attempts at home schooling are going.

Mine? Well, not great. I've got two girls who are 7 and 8. Neither of them want to do any work so we're off on the wrong foot already. My wife is a teacher so I know we're in a fortunate position but she has other things going on with her forest school and her dad not being well.

Their school are of course, in a difficult situation but they're doing their best with online lessons and worksheets/powerpoints being sent out via email. This causes problems in that no only am I looking at my work emails during the day, but I'm also monitoring theirs. My kids don't want to do the live lessons and got visibly distressed at the thought of doing them last week so that was knocked on the head with a view to seeing if they want to join in this week.

This morning my eldest had a go at a live lesson and it was as bad as you could imagine. Teams is great OK, don't get me wrong, but it's not exactly geared up to be used by an 8 year old who has limited experience of using a PC. The teacher was presenting from home with a terrible mic and camera and kept on being interrupted by a teaching assistant who also had a terrible mic but needed to tell people where the work was....

"The work sheets were in the shared area. Go to year 4, click on your class, then the 3 little dots in the corner, open the maths folder, scroll down to the 11th Jan and double click on it, then you'll see the powerpoint, click the arrow with the line and download it to your PC or laptop...."

If you've got an ipad then you're on your own.

The final straw was when my eldest was asked to work out a sum adding two Roman numerals together. I don't know about you but I owe all my success in life to the fact that I know which roman numeral is which. I mean, I wouldn't have a clue which Wrestlemania I was watching would I? Seriously, this annoyed me beyond belief. The amount she could be learning by being in the garden, playing with her sister, reading a book or any number of things and instead, her precious time is being taken up by adding LXIV to XXV.. 8)

My daughter didn't enjoy the class one bit and got upset at the thought of doing more which is why they're both playing Animal Crossing at the moment. Maybe tomorrow will be better?

Anyway, how's everyone else getting on?


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 14:56 
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It's a mixed bag here... eldest daughter really enjoys going into school but when she's home she can work with a minimum of help from us.
Youngest son is very bright but drags his feet over everything, he's buzzing that Schools are restricted and he can be at home. Loads of family stuff to contend with too, mostly wife's side (not that makes a difference as we're all helping out). I'm currently in a weird work limbo as my boss is leaving end of the month, he's showing as much as he can to me before he goes but I've convinced myself I'll be left in the shit... the travel industry is in the shit anyway.

So not the best scenario to be all stuck at home. Voices are raised pretty often.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 15:12 
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Apart from the work situation, that sounds very similar to us lot here. My eldest loves school, youngest doesn't. That's always been the way. I try not to raise my voice but it's hard. A friend of mine found himself getting angry at the fact his daughter didn't just know that 22+11=33... Obviously he knows how to do it, just not how to teach it. That's when the craziness of the situation hit him.

My wife went to uni for years to learn how to be a teacher. The government seem to think that I can learn from 8pm on a Monday night ready for Tuesday morning.


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 15:39 
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Oh god, where to start. Firstly, I have to say that I love my kid's school and think the staff are generally pretty great. They've been solid throughout the pandemic, supporting where possible, and pretty relaxed about how much kids achieve which helped to take the stress off during the first lockdown. However, their decision to use FACEBOOK GROUPS as their "learning platform" for this iteration of lockdown is utterly batshit. You've got parents chiming in every 30 seconds with comments which pushes the posts out of order (yes, you can set the timeline of the group to posted order, but it doesn't 'stick') and then the high achievers (aka unemployed) constantly posting about how much their darlings are achieving - so you have to scroll through work from Little Fred / Johnny / Lucy / Tom / Dick / Harry to get to each post from the teacher.

My kids both love school, but are completely different from each other in terms of how they learn and how much assistance they need at home.

#2 is quite happy to browse the posts, pick out the bits he needs to do, move on to the next task, bob's your uncle. He gets shit done. Admittedly, he's a bit lazy and puts in the bare minimum of effort / relies on his seemingly endless smart-arsedness but whatever, it's enough.

#1 on the other hand... 11 years old but with the patience of a toddler. There are reasons that exacerbate this, and this is probably not the time or the place to discuss them, but by god everything is a drama. Resists every request from me, needs handholding through navigating the posts in the group, refuses to participate, argues with anyone within earshot: voices raised, world war 3 etc. Takes hours to achieve a simple 15 minute task because she blows the whole thing up out of proportion.

Dealing with number 1 gets me so worked up and agitated that by the time I can leave them alone to look at emails, work etc my brain is on bloody RED ALERT DANGER MODE and I can't concentrate or achieve anything myself. A whole day wasted for the sake of a couple of bloody tasks. And of course I get the perpetual guilt of feeling like #2 is abandoned or left to fend for himself because I have to concetrate so much mental energy on the eldest.

I know from last time it'll get easier as we settle back into the routine but I was ready to call it a day by 10 this morning.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 15:47 
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Jem wrote:
However, their decision to use FACEBOOK GROUPS as their "learning platform" for this iteration of lockdown is utterly batshit. You've got parents chiming in every 30 seconds with comments which pushes the posts out of order (yes, you can set the timeline of the group to posted order, but it doesn't 'stick') and then the high achievers (aka unemployed) constantly posting about how much their darlings are achieving - so you have to scroll through work from Little Fred / Johnny / Lucy / Tom / Dick / Harry to get to each post from the teacher.



This sounds like hell on earth.


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 16:30 
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Findus Fop wrote:
This sounds like hell on earth.

I can't get over the decision making process, tbh.

Given that our two are both primary-aged, and therefore don't have their own Facebook accounts (and wouldn't have even if they were old enough, if I know Jem ;)) they have to be logged in to Jem's account on their devices in order to access the materials.

Which then means that they both have access to all of Jem's private messages and stuff like that on her Facebook.

If I'd been put in that position as a kid I don't think I'd have been able to resist reading all my Mum/Dad's messages.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 16:35 
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The penny has just dropped on this... Facebook, for primary school kids?!? Absolutely baffling.


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 16:47 
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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 17:52 
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We’re doing ok, but I’m in a lucky position that when I’m well enough I can dedicate myself to D completely. The problem arises when my symptoms flare up and I have a day when I can’t see, or move out of bed, so it can swing from very productive to ‘no’.

During the first lockdown we pulled Darwin out of nursery early (February), and when the Twinkl resources were made free to all I planned things quite extensively, and when that stopped I decided to pay for a subscription. I use that to support the work the school set. This week he is learning about owls and diurnal/nocturnal animals, and there are two books to read, but there are a wealth of support materials for that as well, so we’re doing some extra and it’s been good when I’ve been well enough. When things conspire that D spends his day in pyjamas watching The Lego movie and playing with Lego I do not feel guilty about it.

The one thing I have struggled with is people sending me unsolicited opinions. My friend has a boy in the year above Darwin. She sent me a text last week and asked how many worksheets he was being set, so I told her. She started saying how she was really surprised, that it wasn’t enough, etc, etc. I had misunderstood to start with. I thought she meant she was after more worksheets for her boy, and I was going to offer to help find materials with her and act as a print service as she has no printer, and give her my Twinkl log in to browse, but then I twigged that she meant D wasn’t being set enough work by his school.

She said she was really shocked, that it didn’t seem like anywhere near enough work, that her boy had much more work than that, far more worksheets, it was shocking how few D had, her boy had more in first lockdown when he was in reception even though that was really short notice and you’d think they’d be better organised this time... it went on. I didn’t really know how to respond. It caught me off guard and I ended up just saying I didn’t know how to reply. I thought this was going to be a moment of support (either from her to me, or me to her, or mutual) but I realised that it was just said to make me worry/feel inadequate/put down my school choice (as I chose a different school from her). I wasn’t at all upset by the actual message (because it was wrong, D is doing great and I hadn’t gone into detail... number of worksheets is no measure at all. Most of the work set is not in worksheets, and how many sums are on a worksheet (for example). 4? 100?)... But what really upset me was someone contacting me to ask me something as random as ‘how many worksheets was D set’ just to tell me how terrible it was, three days in to home schooling.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 17:59 
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Mimi wrote:
and when the Twinkl resources were made free to all

say what?

I paid them a fair old chunk in the first lockdown, did I not have to?

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:03 
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Twinkl made resources free to all parents/carers for the entirety of the first lockdown. I guess you still have it now, but yes, you’d essentially have had it for three months for nothing. They also have special weeks occasionally where you can subscribe for a fair chunk off. About 40% off I think it was.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:07 
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Isn't that lovely?

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I really think the best thing to do is prioritise mental and physical health (yours and your kids), and do whatever you think is best for that.

Using Facebook as a learning platform is Ludacris (especially if the parents are chiming in too).

I think if my kids where still primary age. I'd be concentrating on using the stuff the bbc is (going to be?) putting out, and almost setting the stuff myself for them to do outside of that (write a story about X, draw a picture of Y, read Z pages of this book).

But concentrate on making sure you are okay first, then concentrate on the kids being okay, then the learning.

As for how my home schooling is going:

My daughter is 12 and in the first year of secondary school, they use Teams and epraise (a website/app for setting homework and rewards/demerits) and other than the sound doesn't always work on her new raspberry pi in teams she seems to be handling it okay (she uses her mum's laptop when that happens).

My youngest son is 17 and is supposed to be doing his A-levels this year, he's more than capable of doing the tech side, but I think he's feeling the stress a bit of what exactly he's going to judged on getting his grades, he was supposed to be doing Mocks this week, but that's obviously gone out the window...

My middle son is at uni, and that seems to be going well (I think he's had online lessons only since the unis reopened at Easter last year any way) He's supposed to be having a sandwich year next year to get experience in a tourism environment. Fuck knows how they're going to work that out!

My eldest son is a teaching assistant at a primary school, and unlock last year's lock down, they actually need him to go in, he says that the number of pupils in is about 2/3rds of the number there normally would be (whereas it was about 5% last time)

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:10 
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Malc wrote:
I really think the best thing to do is prioritise mental and physical health (yours and your kids), and do whatever you think is best for that.

Selling the kids on ebay it is :DD

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:12 
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Malc wrote:
I really think the best thing to do is prioritise mental and physical health (yours and your kids), and do whatever you think is best for that.


Absolutely massively :this:

We are our kids main educators and we should do what we see fit.


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:13 
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HA! Brilliant.


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:14 
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Malc, sorry, do you mean that 2/3rds of kids are still going to school where your son teaches?

We had a message from the head teacher today, which reads ‘ There has been a further change and clarification over the weekend regarding critical workers. The amendment now clarifies that “parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can”. Home is, of course, still considered to be the safest place for your children and for your families. At this moment in time, being in school should be the last resort if there is no one else to take care of them’.

Which I suppose means they might be seeing a far greater number of attending children than they’d thought they’d be getting in?

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:16 
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Mimi wrote:
Which I suppose means they might be seeing a far greater number of attending children than they’d thought they’d be getting in?

People are talking about 50-60% attendance on twitter. I think that's partly from headteachers and partly from a Guardian article.

Apparently lockdown 1 was more like 10-15%.

ETA: think this is the piece that's going round: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... ker-places

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:18 
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TheVision wrote:
Malc wrote:
I really think the best thing to do is prioritise mental and physical health (yours and your kids), and do whatever you think is best for that.


Absolutely massively :this:

We are our kids main educators and we should do what we see fit.


There’s a lot of pressure from a lot of sources at the moment, as there was in first lockdown.

My wish would be that the schools provided plenty of resources for learning, made plenty of time available for support (the teachers aren’t in school at the moment in our school, only the TAs, so the teachers are WFH) but that they made it extremely clear that these resources are there just for those who wanted them, that there is no pressure, that there is support, and that the priority right now is staying safe, learning empathy and staying healthy (mentally and physically).

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:19 
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Jem wrote:
Mimi wrote:
Which I suppose means they might be seeing a far greater number of attending children than they’d thought they’d be getting in?

People are talking about 50-60% attendance on twitter. I think that's partly from headteachers and partly from a Guardian article.

Apparently lockdown 1 was more like 10-15%.


If the government and business owners aren’t going to provide the money and support for people to stay at home then this is what must be expected, I guess. Mind you... how are there so many more keyworkers now? Did they extend the keyworker definition?

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:24 
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Mimi wrote:
If the government and business owners aren’t going to provide the money and support for people to stay at home then this is what must be expected, I guess. Mind you... how are there so many more keyworkers now? Did they extend the keyworker definition?

I don't know if they officially extended the definition, but a few teacher friends have said that some parents are taking the piss with stretching the definition of key worker and some are just struggling to work from home and look after kids (which I can sympathise with, but not enough to dump mine on the teachers)

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:25 
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Is it a absolute requirement that they do the homeschooling thing? Surely if it's causing more stress/distress, it's better to skip it? If they get put off school and learning, they might struggle to get back into it.

It might be better to find an online resource, like BBC Bitesize, and have them do a few exercises on there? Even if they spend more time messing about than actually doing it, at least it is a more relaxed and involved than a Zoom lesson.

Just getting them to read a book is a good idea too, perhaps set them a little book report to write, like a different ending to the story? Zardoz, maybe your boy could make a comic strip or something?

Setting little curriculum adjacent tasks that have real-world uses could be a good alternative as well. Get them to find a recipe for something simple, then set them a task to find out how much the ingredients cost using a supermarket shopping site and add up the total cost of their shopping list. Older kids could work out how much the thing they're cooking costs to make - like how much 225g of flour is, what the cost of 2 eggs is etc.

Maybe those things don't help if you also have to do a full work day, but there are workbooks and things online too. It actually helps if they mark their own work too and find out where they went wrong themselves.

I think if they keep some sort of reading, writing and maths going, they'll be okay. There is a reason teaching is a fulltime job so try not to feel guilty about how well your doing, or not doing while you juggle being a parent, teacher and employee.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:29 
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I think I also read somewhere that it’s the keyworker children and vulnerable children, and that the ‘vulnerable children’ definition had been expanded to include any child who couldn’t access a device or internet for online learning. Of course, where this elated ta kids in the greatest numbers (such as several London boroughs with extremely high crowding and child poverty numbers) are also areas where the virus is at its worst. More contracts for the supply of devices to underprivileged kids went to one of Boris’s mates, didn’t it?

Remember when they were saying that the virus doesn’t discriminate?

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 18:45 
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GazChap wrote:
Mimi wrote:
and when the Twinkl resources were made free to all

say what?

I paid them a fair old chunk in the first lockdown, did I not have to?

Not quite the same, but this time Twinkl have made Twinkl Go free to access (you need a free Twinkl account to access it all). Mostly iPad/iPhone/laptop interactive games. Might be good if anyone needs a break and wants to give activities on the iPad as a treat whilst they hide in the kitchen with a coffee and a tea cake?


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 19:15 
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Isn't that lovely?

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Mimi wrote:
Malc, sorry, do you mean that 2/3rds of kids are still going to school where your son teaches?


That's exactly what he's telling me.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 19:17 
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Spoke to my brother just now who works in a large school in Brent, and they have 80 kids out of 1100 attending one or more days, about 7.3%, so a very different case there.

ETA: he said they’ve been doing a lot of targeted work with tackling digital poverty, and have distributed 350 laptops, plus dongles for WiFi access, so I wonder if that makes a large party of the disparity?

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 19:20 
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Malc wrote:
Mimi wrote:
Malc, sorry, do you mean that 2/3rds of kids are still going to school where your son teaches?


That's exactly what he's telling me.

Yeah, sorry, I hadn’t heard the news stories about the large numbers going in so that was extremely surprising to me. I was genuinely shocked at the number.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 21:52 
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Katie's school is not huge and they certainly weren't equipped for remote learning in the first lockdown. The kids basically got their paper workbooks and were told every day which lessons to make. There was no instruction so I had to explain stuff and there was virtually no contact, Katie had 1 time she saw/spoke to her teacher online in 6 weeks. She missed her classmates enormously.
She was turning 10 and she said she could work in her bedroom and the first two weeks went pretty well, then she twigd that she could actually watch youtube all day instead, then she got caught out when I tried to check her work, so we got mad and told her if we couldn't trust her she had to do her work in the living room with us (though privately we giggled, excellent rebelling little pre-teen ;)

So I wasn't expecting much this time around, but school had apparently been working hard on this and all kids are on Microsoft Teams now (laptops available to be borrowed from school) and the friday before christmas they all had to chime in at 10.00 as a rehearsal. Now every morning Katie's class are expected on Teams at 08.30, they do instruction on the days lesson, do smaller groups if necessary and sometimes an afternoon date for a specific subject, but also important singing for birthday kids etc. Most work is still done in the paper workbooks. She is back in her bedroom as a show of trust from us, and practice for her, though Steve has blocked youtube and netflix ;) we aint no fools
We have finished the first week and last friday I checked all her work and she had only missed out 1 page of one topic, so that was good, and she clearly doesn't understand some things, fine she can ask the teacher for a repeat explanation. So far we are only involved by the occasional question, by having her home all day, and by me checking all her work. I don't expect it to last this easy :DD I expect drama and rebellion any day
This was supposed to be for 2 weeks, but the expectation is on tuesday we will be told that they tag on 3 more weeks of lockdown.

We also have the opportunity for kids of essential workers to go to school and after school care, apparently it's also used more then in the first lockdown, but not massively

Meems I can't get over that mom calling to snark about worksheets, pff she must have no hobbies


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 0:55 
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I'm in favour of less worksheets and structure for the littlies - all of that can come later. I like the concept of giving them time to play, explore, learn gently in the early years.

My gut feeling is that it's easier to chuck out a whole bunch of worksheets than it is to come up with something interesting, fun, and open-ended. I do appreciate that this is easy for my to say from the relative comfort of my situation, but I've felt a bit uncomfortable about the 'creeping' of tests, homework, strict grading for younger and younger kids.

Meems I'm not sure how old Darwin is so I'll guess 6. To me, when I see that table he was doing with the dinosaur details, and learning about nocturnal animals etc I think he's doing just fine. Probably ahead of my 8 year but that's OK - they all develop differently. I think a nice kind approach is especially important in these times, it's fucking hard right now for grown ups and kids. As long as they are learning something, anything, it's better than learning nothing.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:46 
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Close to that. He turned 5 in September, so he’s just at the very start of his school journey and has only been there a (very) few weeks (due to the class having to isolate, various absences and now the school shutdown).

I’m not (personally) worried about his learning. He enjoys learning and he has always been the driving force at learning new things, because he seems to have a great enjoyment of learning a new concept, and then likes to share that with his daddy, or Nana over FaceTime. The dinosaur table was just because he’d made a drawn-up table of weights and measurements of various dinosaurs from some fact cards we’d printed, and I know that working on the laptop is still a ‘treat’ to him. As Russell works from home on his, Darwin sees it as very grown up, so to him it is pure play.

That’s my only sadness. Being an only child right now is tough in that there’s no play between peers. He can’t even see another child.

In all other ways I’m not worried about his time at home. I am happy for Darwin to play all day, but I think having some tasks and activities to do (and if we call that ‘work’, so be it), really helps break up the day when there is parent work, and meetings, and trying to carry on with life still happening all around. It is exhausting, though. I ask to put a movie on for an hour each afternoon before I start tea, just to sit still a while.

I’m not finding friends comparing workloads, etc helpful at all. I like seeing people share their successes, and understand when people share their difficult days, too. We have both, like everyone else. I don’t think people having digs at others for how much they’ve achieved is helpful at all, because nobody is finding this easy. We all wish our kids were at school, and safe, and that we weren’t in this situation. I think digs at people that ‘try too hard’ or ‘achieve too much’ are likely as damaging as digs at people for not doing enough. We have high achievement days, and low achievement days... except we don’t. Low achievement days are playing with Lego, doing baking, sometimes *shock* D being asked to play on his own for a bit (I was really unwell last Friday, for example), and really, none of those days are low achievement, unless you are measuring them in ‘number of worksheets’, which is stupid. If we had a safe outdoor space I’d totally be out there for as much time as we could be.

Anyway, good luck to everyone today. I hope it is one that is low on stress and big on support from partners, friends, teachers, kids, etc. :luv:

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:54 
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we have the park but the bad weather winterness is such a shame. Katies Gym teacher is in the park every tuesday and thursday from 15.00 and everyone is welcome - friends and siblings too
this was amazing in the summer, it's miserable now - temp being so close to 0 and rain on and off


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:03 
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That’s a nice idea, but would never be allowed under our current lockdown rules here. Hopefully spring will help see an improvement for you.

Today Darwin asked to put The Lorax on, so that’s what he is currently doing.

Environmentalism ✔

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:45 
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Mimi wrote:
I don’t think people having digs at others for how much they’ve achieved is helpful at all, because nobody is finding this easy. We all wish our kids were at school, and safe, and that we weren’t in this situation. I think digs at people that ‘try too hard’ or ‘achieve too much’ are likely as damaging as digs at people for not doing enough.

If this was aimed at me, I'd just like to clarify that no judgement was intended with my mention of the high achievers - merely frustration at not being able to actually see the work because the groups are clogged with parent's posts. I couldn't give a toss how much other people are doing with their kids.

The "good" news, however, is that they seem to have changed the permissions so now only teachers can post, and then there's a dedicated post for people to show their work. Still a shit system, but slightly less shit.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:10 
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seriously Jem, I can't get over the choice of Facebook, I even told Steve about it and without any context he was just as baffled


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:58 
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I am assuming it was picked because it's vaguely accessible to the vast majority of parents on all devices without needing paid software etc, at no cost to the school. Or at least, I hope that's the justification, and not "we couldn't be arsed to look for a better one".

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 13:17 
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Jem wrote:
Mimi wrote:
I don’t think people having digs at others for how much they’ve achieved is helpful at all, because nobody is finding this easy. We all wish our kids were at school, and safe, and that we weren’t in this situation. I think digs at people that ‘try too hard’ or ‘achieve too much’ are likely as damaging as digs at people for not doing enough.

If this was aimed at me, I'd just like to clarify that no judgement was intended with my mention of the high achievers - merely frustration at not being able to actually see the work because the groups are clogged with parent's posts. I couldn't give a toss how much other people are doing with their kids.

The "good" news, however, is that they seem to have changed the permissions so now only teachers can post, and then there's a dedicated post for people to show their work. Still a shit system, but slightly less shit.

Wait, what? I’m sorry Jem but I legit don’t know what you are talking about. If you mean because I said to celebrate the small wins with cake, and that was wrong to say, I meant it genuinely. I think just getting through each day deserves a small treat, and I only said cake because you like baking. There was no sleight intended. If it upset you, I deeply apologise.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 13:25 
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No, I’ve just clocked what you meant, Jem. No, I didn’t even pick up on (or maybe just not remember) that earlier. I’ve just seen a few of those ‘snarky mum’ type memes along the lines of ‘I don’t care how many square numbers little Johnny can name, Im busy drinking gin whilst my kids scribble on the wall’ type things re-posted everywhere. I think when everyone is struggling it’s nice to feel like we aren’t being trodden down, which I think you likewise posted a good moment with the big welly splash, and that was great. The situation with the Facebook wall sounds awful, and if it’s being used inappropriately then that’d get my wick, too :D

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 13:29 
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Jem wrote:
the high achievers (aka unemployed)
This bit does come across as a bit snarky, though :D (sorry).

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 13:42 
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Mimi wrote:
Jem wrote:
the high achievers (aka unemployed)
This bit does come across as a bit snarky, though :D (sorry).

Yeah, it does :S although I really just meant people who have time to post 400 updates on their sprog - i.e. not those juggling full time work at the same time. I wasn't trying to label or judge or 'top trumps' anyone, just frustrated with my own situation and having a moan :luv:

p.s. never going to complain about celebrating with cake :D

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 14:11 
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I think a moan is understandable. I bet you’d struggle to find anyone in the country who is living an ideal situation right now, and a lot of people are really, really struggling. I’m trying to concentrate on gathering and sharing resources where I can, as I can’t function if I’m not organised. I find if I have ideas and resources ready to go then I find myself floundering less, especially when I am unwell. Sometimes they aren’t needed. Today D got up and straight away wanted to watch The Lorax. Then he read the Lorax. Then he had story time with his teacher snd just had a PE session with his PE teacher. All we’ve done by way of structured work today is an interview with Nana (super cute... a few structured questions, pop them on FaceTime with a grandparent/cousin/family friend and let them chat... Darwin just jotted down the answers :) - online babysitting experience :D)

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:03 
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Can you dig it?

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Quote:
I ask to put a movie on for an hour each afternoon before I start tea, just to sit still a while.


I have fond memories of doing that with ours, there was a period where Cars 2 (or 'lightning number two' as they called it) was put on each afternoon to get them to sleep.

I actually miss cuddling them to sleep on the sofa of an afternoon in front of a film, or sometimes coming home from wok to find them all napping away with Lady T.

These days, sometimes, I feel like I'd do almost anything just to get them off for a nap in the afternoon, even just for a bit. The youngest benefits from it but the older two don't really need it, and of course the youngest won't focus on sleepytimes if the others are up playing.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:19 
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How old are your children, Sir Taxalot? Darwin hasn’t taken a single nap since he was 11 months old. I don’t mind as he’s slept through the night from about 10-11 months old, so he dropped the nap oretry quickly, but I do so miss that feeling of being trapped under a sleeping child.

We get to watch a few movies: a number of Ghibli films, The Lorax, The Grinch, the Despicable Me movies (he likes that animation studio, it seems, as they make the Seuss movies, too), Wallace and Gromit films, and we have a handful of others. It’s just a way of stopping and relaxing for a bit, and I get a cuddle throughout. I still have the still and quiet child laying over me to watch the film, but I do miss the magic of the surrender to sleep, and that gentle dreaming breathing.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:38 
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We still have nap time in our house. The main difference is that it's me that's napping.

When the kids were younger, I could get a decent snooze in during Sarah and Duck. It's a bit harder to snooze during a Dude Perfect video.


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:51 
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Mimi wrote:
Darwin hasn’t taken a single nap since he was 11 months old.


:o
Rowan is 10.5 months right now and for the last couple of weeks hasn't had afternoon naps and has been waking up for a couple of hours through the night, or a couple of hours early. The last couple of days have been slightly better so hoping to get back into a routine soon. I don't know what I'd do if she didn't ever go back to her afternoon naps!

We're very lucky we don't have to do homeschooling yet. While I like to think I'd be laid back about it and value quality time together over learning, I'm sure the reality would be different and I'd be anxious about my ones falling behind, or missing out on important learning so I really sympathise with all of you who are dealing with this. My biggest challenge so far has been Neve wanting to come and sit on my knee when I'm on a Zoom call. She knows more about this seasons agave yield in Mexico than most 3 year olds.


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:55 
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sdg wrote:
She knows more about this seasons agave yield in Mexico than most 3 year olds.

This made me chuckle :D

My two are off to their dad's now, so I have 3 days to do 5 days worth of work. Should be fine, as long as I stay off twitter. :DD

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:09 
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We've just completed our nov-dec-jan run of birthdays so we now have Boy (8), Girl (6) and Boy (4).

Its fun and exhausting. Delightful and irritating. Worthwhile and also a tremendous hassle. I've never been happier and at the same time never been angrier than I am these days.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:18 
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Fingers crossed that it’s a passing phase and she starts taking that nap a bit easier again, and without the long nighttime wake up. They are all so different with the sleep patterns. I do know someone with a six year old who has never had a single night where their girl has slept through, but I think that’s very rare. I remember all of the ‘sleep regression’ talk, but I don’t know how accurate that was. Sometimes I thought Russell seemed to be trying to fit things that happened around what were given as the sleep regression times.

I tend to be quite anxious about a lot of things, Gilly, but I feel surprisingly relaxed about this. I’ve had a few moments of tension, but usually when other people have given me unsolicited opinion on what I am doing, or should be doing. Sometimes it is well meant. The manager of Darwin’s old nursery gave me a sort of schedule to do (below) and it just felt too regimented, despite the fact that it is very loosely structured.

I was talking to a friend via text last night. Her family have been shielding, as we have. I said:

‘These kids are living through a pandemic, with every outlet telling them, and us, that they are failing, behind (forgetting how to use a knife snd fork?!), going to be a ‘lost generation’. No they will not. Because they are a generation who will have survived this. Kids right now, perhaps those in shielding families especially, will have tools to cope with some of life’s tougher curveballs, and the kids will hopefully be adaptable, and they will have a greater empathy than the generations before. I think they’ll be ahead in SO MANY WAYS, and though I would do anything for Covid to leave this world, I think we are making the most of the situation. And by ‘we’, I mean all families, all kids, you and I, etc xx’.

The story about kids forgetting how to use knives and forks was a weird one. We’re they not using knives and forks at home? Also, in last lockdown most schools were giving packed lunches to kids to eat in their classrooms, so I don’t know how they could have found a control group for observing this apparent shortfall.

Sir Taxalot: that seems like a fab set of ages. I’m surprised you get any nap time in with them, though! It sounds exhausting. I’ve only got the one, a five year old, and he’s exhausting all on his own!


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:28 
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Katie napped for many years, while being an awful sleeper at night, and then being radiant sunshine early morning (I am most certainly not a morning person, especially having mucked about at night many times) why is there no sleepy/tired smiley?

I also think kids are doing great, yes she is exposed to a lot that I would have loved to spare her, and yes she is prevented from some things we were building up, but certainly she is seeing herself cope with disappointment and loss and being alright
I don't know what this utensil regression stuff is about ?!


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:34 
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Jem wrote:
sdg wrote:

My two are off to their dad's now, so I have 3 days to do 5 days worth of work. Should be fine, as long as I stay off twitter. :DD


I uninstalled it and turned all of my notifications off on my phone so I can get my work done. ?:|

I can't imagine the stress that a lot of parents are going through right now trying to juggle everything. I have shared a couple of bits in FB that I think would have been useful for me to hear were I in that situation.

Message from a headteacher:
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
“Message from Mr. Hellett Headteacher at Sacred Heart School, Hastings:
Dear Parents and Carers,
Lots of people are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and under pressure by everything that's happening. This includes the work being sent home for your child. I wanted to just give my perspective on it all as a Headteacher and I hope this can help with that somewhat.
A few points to note first:
1) This is not homeschooling. This is an unprecedented emergency situation impacting on the whole world. Let's keep perspective. Homeschooling is a choice, where you considered, you plan for it and you are your child's school teacher in whatever form you choose. This is, at best, distance learning. In reality, it's everyone trying to separate their bums from their elbows, because none of us know what we're doing and what's right and wrong here.
2) You are, and always have been, your child's primary educator. If you decide that your child isn't going to engage with anything sent home and is going to spend the entire period playing in the dirt, or baking, or watching TV, then that is your choice. That is your right. There is nothing to stress or feel guilty about.
3) Schools don't know what they're doing either. They had no notice, no preparation time and we were NOT told to 'continue to plan lessons as normal and just send them home' – that’s NOT possible. If it were, we'd all be out of a job!
4) It is absolutely not possible to facilitate distance learning with a primary aged child and work from home at the same time. The very idea is nonsense. If you're trying to do that, stop now. You can certainly have activities where your child learns, but your focus is your job, and survival. Again, unprecedented. Stop trying to be superheroes.
So, a few FAQs:
- My school has sent home lots of physical work. Pages and pages, hours and hours. How am I supposed to get through it all?!
You're not, don't try. Your child's teacher spent a couple of hours in utter panic gathering things to send home so they could say they did their best and there wasn't a lot of complaints that enough didn't go home. It's not a competition, or a race, it’s unlikely the teacher will even manage to look at it all.
- My school keeps sending home links and emails with more work. How do I make it stop? Ahhhhhh!
See above. These are suggestions and ideas because the school is worried they're not offering enough. Use them if they suit you, don't if they don't suit. If you're getting stressed, stop opening the emails. No one will know!
- Someone in my child's class has everything done and we've barely started. Will they fall behind?
Even if everything were equal in terms of support, time and number of children (which it’s not) all children learn at different rates. In the class there's a wide range of levels in all subjects, there's different paces and there are many children working on differentiated levels of work. It's almost impossible for teachers to differentiate at the moment, so you don’t have to do it either.
Your child will not fall behind. This is all revision and reminder work. If children could all learn new concepts without specific teaching, we wouldn't need teachers. They will cover all of this again, multiple times.
- I'm not doing any work with my kids. All they're doing is building Lego, cooking and playing outside.
All of this is learning -very valuable learning. Give yourself and them a break.
- How can I get three different lots of work done with 3 different kids of different ages?
You can't, stop trying. If they're old enough, try to get them to do little bits independently. Otherwise try to do something they can all engage with, reading a story together, some free writing, baking etc.
- So what's the bare minimum you'd expect?
For me, survival mode. I won't pretend that may be true of all teachers, but you know what?, if they can't have perspective in a time like this then I wouldn't overly worry about their opinion anyway.
My ideal for the children in our school?
- A bit of reading every day (independent or to them or via audiobook etc)
- Some free writing now and then. If they'll keep a diary or something, great. If not, would they draw a comic?
- Practical hands on maths. Be that via cooking, cleaning, outside or some maths games, physical or digital.
- Some fine motor work. Lego, cutting, playdough, tidying up small toys.
- Physical exercise everyday
- Some art/music where possible through the week. Doesn't need to be guided.
-Stretch goal, if old enough getting them to independently work on a project is great for keeping brains ticking over. Get them researching in a book or online and putting together something to present to you or family.
- If younger, lots of imaginative free play, the more independent the better.
You are doing enough. You are loving your kids and supporting them through a difficult time. Look after yourself. Minimising stress is absolutely vital in a time like this for mental health. Don't let this be something that stresses you. Only you can control that by accepting it is in your circle of control, you are the primary educator and this is all your call.


There was a lovely reframing too, similar to what Mimi said, but it seems to have been pulled unfortunately. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:39 
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Quote:
Your child will not fall behind. This is all revision and reminder work. If children could all learn new concepts without specific teaching, we wouldn't need teachers. They will cover all of this again, multiple times.


Just wanted to pull that bit out specifically.


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:02 
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miki wrote:
I don't know what this utensil regression stuff is about ?!


There were various stories around, but here’s one: https://www.bbc.com/news/education-54880403

The thing is, there are likely to be cases in all extremes. Kids struggling with certain aspects, parents struggling with other aspects, kids excelling away from the classroom, families closer than ever... but it has been all of the negative aspects that have got the headlines here, and whilst it is real and true that a lot of families are finding it difficult, many of those headlines have been specifically about how the kids are *failing* (regressing, forgetting, not working, etc) which does nothing but tell parents and kids that despite the absolutely heroic effort they put in last time (and I don’t count myself in that as we weren’t doing any more than we had been over the previous years, as Darwin wasn’t at school anyway, so I thoroughly mean you guys that were) was nothing, and that they failed, and that is BS. Families, despite everything being stacked against them, did amazingly. Parents and kids alike.

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